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Old 10-14-2021, 10:24 AM
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Default Eye on Exremism - 10-14-21

Eye on Extremism - 10-14-21
By: Counter Extremism Project

As of October 14, 2021:

The New York Times: Bow-and-Arrow Attack in Norway Treated As Apparent Terrorist Attack

“A 37-year-old man was charged on Thursday in connection with a bow-and-arrow rampage in a small town in Norway that killed five people in what the authorities said was an apparent act of terrorism. The Norwegian security agency, known by its acronym, PST, said investigators were still trying to determine what motivated the attacker to carry out his grisly assault in the town of Kongsberg, about 50 miles southwest of Oslo. Earlier, the regional police chief said that the authorities had previously been in contact with the man over concerns that he had been radicalized. “We have previously been in contact with him regarding worries about radicalization,” Ole Bredrup Saeverud, the regional police chief, said at a news conference. Asked whether the man might have been motivated by extreme religious ideology, he added, “We don’t know that, but it’s natural to ask the question.” Four women and one man were killed in the assault on Wednesday evening. The attacker, who escaped an initial confrontation with the police, unleashed a volley of arrows at apparent strangers in Kongsberg.”

NPR: Under The Taliban, It's Harder Than Ever To Be An Afghan Journalist

“The nightmares come easy and often for Afghan journalist Taqi Daryabi. When they do, the 22-year-old reporter for the Afghan newspaper Etilaatroz is instantly transported back to a dank room in a Taliban-run police station, where a group of former fighters brutally beat him and his colleague Nematullah Naqdi last month for covering a women's protest in Kabul. “All of them started beating me with whatever they had in their hands — with whips, batons, with rubber, with wood,” says Daryabi, who is still in and out of the hospital for treatment of his lacerations. “With whatever torturing tool they had, they beat me until I passed out.” Naqdi, his colleague, has partially lost his vision from the beating he endured that day. About 500 miles away, in the western city of Herat, it's not the past that haunts 26-year-old journalist Atefa. It's the fear of the future. Atefa, who wants to use only her first name to protect her safety, used to write critically about the Taliban's attitudes and treatment of women for various Afghan news outlets. Now she's in hiding. Ever since the group recaptured Herat in mid-August, her neighbors have been telling her the Taliban have been looking for her. In recent weeks, she's received text messages from unknown numbers, containing grisly video clips.”

United States

Associated Press: Man With Ties To Extremist Group Sentenced On Weapons Charge

“A West Virginia man who was accused of selling machine gun conversion devices to followers of a far-right extremist movement received a five-year prison sentence Wednesday. Timothy John Watson pleaded guilty in March in federal court in Martinsburg to possession of an unregistered firearm silencer. Three other charges against Watson were dismissed. As a part of a plea agreement, Watson was ordered to forfeit the silencer, 3D printers and parts along with items seized in a November 2020 search that prosecutors said are devices used to convert semi-automatic AR-15 rifles into fully automatic machine guns. Prosecutors said Watson, 31, of Ranson, made and sold hundreds of the devices to nearly 800 people online. Some of those included supporters of the anti-government “boogaloo” movement, the code word they use for their talk of a second civil war. Their prominence has grown during the pandemic as the gun-toting supporters, many dressed in Hawaiian shirts and camouflage garb, attended protests against government shutdowns. From those sales, the FBI opened investigations involving 58 people, resulting so far in three firearms-related arrests and one conviction, prosecutors said.”

Military Times: Small Numbers Of Military Extremists Can Still Pose A Large Threat, Experts Warn

“Experts studying violent, extremist organizations warned that even if the number of veterans and military members who participate in such groups is small, they can still be very dangerous to the country. “Extremist ideas and groups cannot be left to operate unchecked within the very organizations charged with protecting the population, including its most vulnerable citizens,” said Cynthia Miller-Idriss, director of the Polarization and Extremism Research & Innovation Lab at American University. “The future of multicultural democracy from extremism in the military and the veterans communities must be treated like the threat to national security that it is.” The comments came at a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday on the targeting of veterans by extremist groups, an issue that drew national headlines after a significant percentage of rioters involved in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol Building were found to have military experience. Experts in homegrown extremism have warned for years about efforts by far-right militants and white-supremacist groups to radicalize and recruit people with military and law enforcement training.”


Bloomberg: The Taliban’s Record So Far Shows Why The G-20 Is Reluctant To Help

“Leaders of the world’s top economies failed to agree on how to deal with the Taliban at an extraordinary summit, pledging only to channel aid through the United Nations as a humanitarian crisis looms. The group’s track record since taking power helps explain the reluctance. While the U.S. and its Western allies held formal talks with Taliban officials in the lead-up to the Group of 20 summit on Tuesday, they have repeatedly emphasized that the new Afghan government will be judged by actions rather than words. And politically, it’s not easy for them to convince voters the Taliban deserves a bunch of cash -- if even an economic collapse could bolster extremist groups. The Taliban have insisted they’ve changed, pledging to form an inclusive government, let women continue to study and work, prevent Afghanistan from being used for terrorist activities and allow the safe passage of citizens with valid travel documents. Here’s how the Taliban have fared since sweeping to power in August: The Islamic State continues to be one of the biggest threats to the Taliban, carrying out at least three major attacks since the U.S. evacuation. The latest came last weekend, when a suicide bomber attacked a crowded Shia mosque in northern Kunduz province.”

Foreign Policy: The Taliban’s Sharia Is The Most Brutal Of All

“Late last month, the Taliban killed four men and hung their dead bodies in public squares in the northwestern Afghan city of Herat. One lifeless corpse dangled off a crane above throngs of commuters who were stunned at the exhibition and grasping the significance of the moment—a return to the past. The group’s newly appointed mayor declared the killed as kidnappers and boasted about the display of the dead as an effective deterrent. He warned: Other criminals would meet the same fate. Due process was an additional casualty of the Taliban’s speedy verdict, however. There was no court case, no jury, no one to check the Taliban’s claims. The hangings came just a day after Mullah Nooruddin Turabi—previously head of the Taliban’s notorious Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Suppression of Vice two decades ago and now in charge of prisons—said that the Taliban will resume amputations and executions. “No one will tell us what our laws should be,” he told the Associated Press, as if severing limbs and stoning women buried up to their chest were not brutal acts but a matter of sovereignty and cultural preference.”


BBC News: Violence Surges In Pakistan's Tribal Belt As Taliban, IS-K Go On Attack

“Seventeen-year-old Israr was fast asleep when his phone rang. It was 2am and the teenager was exhausted. He'd been working all day as a guard. On the other end of the line was his brother, who told Israr that men had barged into their family house, dragged their father outside, and shot him dead. “He asked me to rush back home,” recalled Israr, whose name has been changed for his safety. I met Israr in Orakzai, one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal belt. Like the provinces just over the border in Afghanistan, Orakzai is home to a predominantly Pashtun population. Three days after Israr's father was killed, a branch of the extremist organisation Islamic State known as Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-K), claimed responsibility for the murder. IS-K accused Israr's father of being a Pakistani military informant, a claim rejected by Israr. “My father just had a shop in Orakzai. He would help his tribe, especially those people who were returning to the area after being displaced due to war,” Israr said. “He had no enemies. He was one of the elders of the area.” In Afghanistan, the Taliban and IS-K are fighting a bloody war for pre-eminence. Here in Pakistan, the picture is more murky.”


AFP: Egyptian Court Upholds Life Sentences For 32 Convicted Of Plot To Kill Sissi

“An Egyptian military court on Wednesday upheld life sentences for 32 people accused of plotting to kill President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and a former Saudi crown prince, their lawyer said. The court “decided to reject all appeals” and uphold the verdict for all but two defendants, whose sentences were reduced to 15 years, Khaled al-Masry wrote on Facebook. The defendants were charged with setting up “terrorist cells” that committed crimes including planning to assassinate Sissi and Saudi Arabia’s former crown prince and interior minister, Mohammed bin Nayef. Excerpts from a public prosecutor’s investigation in 2016 published in local media revealed the defendants were plotting to assassinate Sissi and the crown prince while they were on pilgrimage to the Islamic holy city of Mecca in 2014. A military criminal court handed down life sentences to the 32 suspects in June 2019. Of the more than 290 defendants originally appearing in the case, 264 were sentenced to between three and 15 years in jail. The suspects were arrested on charges of belonging to an Islamic State group affiliate known as Sinai Province, active in Egypt’s restive North Sinai region, where security forces have for years fought an insurgency.”


Sahara Reporters: Boko Haram Terrorists Kill Six Soldiers, Injure Army General, Capture Military Vehicles, Arms In Borno

“Terrorists from the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād on Sunday attacked the Army Special Super Camp at Ngamdu, a border town between Borno and Yobe States, killing over 6 soldiers, military sources told SaharaReporters. Ngamdu is under Kaga Local Government Area of Borno and about 100km to the capital, Maiduguri. SaharaReporters gathered that the terrorists came in no fewer than 10 gun trucks and could not be counted. A source said about six Nigerian soldiers were killed, while others including the Brigadier General in-charge of the camp, were injured. The insurgents also went away with a military operational vehicle, different arms and ammunition. “They stormed the unit with about 10 gun-trucks and 4 MRAP. They beat the security checks and pretended to be friendly forces. They first attacked the Brigade Commander, wounded his ADC also. They later killed like six soldiers,” a source said. The attack comes a few weeks after the insurgents killed over 25 soldiers who were also on patrol in Monguno area of Borno state. Monguno is North, about 70km drive from Maiduguri, the state capital and hosted thousands of Internally Displaced Persons mostly from Dikwa and Marte council areas.”


AFP: Ten Villagers Killed In Mosque Attack In Western Niger

“Suspected jihadis killed 10 villagers in an attack on a mosque earlier this week in western Niger's Tillaberi region, local sources said Wednesday. The attack on Monday occurred in the village of Abankor in the tri-border region where Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso meet. “The attackers arrived on motorbikes during evening prayers and the victims were in the mosque when they were killed,” an official in Banibangou city told AFP. A resident of the neighboring town of Tondiwindi confirmed the attack and the death toll. On local radio Studio Kalangou, an Abankor resident said one person was injured in addition to the 10 dead, adding that the attack occurred in the early evening. Since the start of the year, attacks by suspected jihadis have skyrocketed in the area around Banibangou and nearby towns in the Tillaberi region. The flashpoint area is frequently targeted by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and the al-Qaida-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims with deadly attacks against civilians and soldiers.”

Reuters: Algerian Security Forces Foil Planned Armed Attack By Separatists -TV

“Algerian security forces foiled a plot to carry out an armed attack by separatists aided by “the Zionist entity” (Israel) and a North African country, Ennahar TV said on Wednesday. Seventeen members of a separatist group that authorities have declared a terrorist organisation called “MAK” were arrested and documents indicating continuous contact with the “the Zionist entity” organizations and weapons were seized, Ennahar TV added. In August, the government accused MAK and another group of being behind the devastating forest fires, which hit several provinces in Algeria, including Tizi Ouzou, adding that one of them was backed by Morocco and Israel. Algeria cut diplomatic relations with Morocco later in August, citing what it called hostile actions by its most populous neighbour with which it has had strained relations for decades.”

United Kingdom

Daily Mail: Terror Suspect, 24, 'Planned To Livestream Himself Blowing Up A Mosque And Had Images Glorifying New Zealand Terrorist Brenton Tarrant', Court Hears

“A terror suspect planned to livestream himself carrying out a terror attack on a mosque in Scotland and had pictures glorifying New Zealand mass shooter Brenton Tarrant on his phone, a court has heard. Sam Imrie, a 24-year-old said to have been infatuated by Adolf Hitler, is alleged to have been plotting an attack on the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes. A trial at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday heard a phone recovered by police was found to contain a number of images glorifying the New Zealand shooter with the accompanying words 'Brenton Tarrant did nothing wrong', 'hail Tarrant' and 'Saint Tarrant'. Giving evidence, Detective Constable Murray Cairns described the footage as 'graphic' and 'horrific'. He said: '[Tarrant] carried out a filming session of the attack. He livestreamed it at first, which was copied and then went massive on the internet.' 'It’s horrific. It starts with him driving, playing music before arriving at the Islamic centre. 'You see him getting the weapon from his car, going to the Islamic centre, you can see people walking towards him and he starts shooting, murdering them. ‘You see him going from room to room, getting back into his vehicle. 'It’s graphic, you see him deciding when to fire and when not to fire.'“

The Global Herald: Terror Wannabe To Be Released From Prison | Prof Ian Acheson Says Probation Services Fail The Public

“GBNews published this video item, entitled “Terror wannabe to be released from prison | Prof Ian Acheson says probation services fail the public” – below is their description. ‘Probation service and others who are involved in risk management have failed to protect the public with appalling results.’ Prof Ian Acheson, senior advisor at the Counter Extremism Project, offers his take on the release of an extremist who plotted to blow up an army base.”


The New York Times: U.S. Antigovernment Groups Are Influencing The French Far Right

“Right-wing extremist groups in the United States have been influencing French groups, spreading antigovernment conspiracy theories in Europe, the top French intelligence official said on Wednesday. The official, Laurent Nuñez, France’s national intelligence and counterterrorism coordinator, has been in Washington this week for meetings with American officials such as his U.S. counterpart, Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence. Relations between Paris and Washington have been strained after a U.S. deal last month to sell Australia nuclear submarines, which put an end to a French contract. Mr. Nuñez did not mince words, saying “the serious bilateral crisis” remained. Still, President Emmanuel Macron of France authorized Mr. Nuñez’s visit as part of efforts to ease the diplomatic feud and restore high-level communications between the two governments. Cooperation among intelligence services, often stripped of politics, is usually far steadier than relations between heads of state, and that has been the case with France, according to U.S. officials. French officials said they were continuing to work together on a wide array of counterterrorism issues in Syria, Africa and Afghanistan and threats from domestic extremist groups.”


Reuters: Suspected Jihadists Arrested In Spain While Trying To Get A Rifle

“Spanish police said on Wednesday they had arrested three suspected members of a jihadist cell in Barcelona and one in Madrid after one of them tried to buy an assault rifle for a potential attack. A fifth suspected cell member was already in prison serving an unspecified sentence. Officers found three machetes and ammunition in the house of the group's leader, identified only as “Sheikh”, who had been previously arrested in Turkey in 2016 when trying to enter a conflict zone to join the Islamic State, police said in a statement. He later travelled to several countries such as Malaysia, Tanzania and Algeria, where he continued to recruit for the Islamic State, the police said. Spanish police detected his presence in Barcelona in March 2021, where he had contacted a gang of young Algerians who robbed tourists and who later “showed strong signs of radicalisation”. The activities of jihadist groups remain a priority for police in Spain after Islamist militants used a van to plough into a crowd of pedestrians in Barcelona's Las Ramblas boulevard in August 2017 and carried out a follow-up attack in another municipality, killing 16 people in total.”

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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